Two broken ankles resulted in multiple fractures for two residents of the Clark-Lindsey nursing home in Urbana, Illinois. In both cases, the nursing home falls could have been easily avoided through the use of simple assistive devices that were standard procedure.
The first resident had diagnosis of epilepsy and osteoporosis. Epilepsy is a condition that causes seizures. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to become brittle. Needless to say, an individual with both is in an extremely fragile state, and any nursing home fall has the potential to be devastating. The resident’s Plan of Care stipulated that footwear with non-skid bottoms were to be used anytime the resident was being transferred.
On the day in question, the resident was being transferred from the toilet using a sit-to-stand lift. A sit-to-stand lift is a mechanical device that lifts a person from a sitting to standing position. The lift requires that the resident use their feet as a fulcrum as it pulls them to their feet.
Instead of two non-skid boots specifically called for in the resident’s plan of care, the Clark-Lindsey Village resident was wearing a knitted slipper on her right foot. Naturally, the right foot slipped, the resident fell and fractured her ankle in several places.
The second Clark-Lindsey resident who suffered a nursing home fall also required the sit-to-stand device. This time, it simply wasn’t used at all in spite of a Plan of Care that explicitly called for it and included instructions specific to this resident. The resident fell and Urbana hospital confirmed a fracture to the right ankle.
A nursing home has an obligation to assess the risk of falls for each resident, develop an adequate treatment plan with interventions in place to prevent nursing home falls, and, most importantly, make sure the staff follows the plan.
The nursing home needs to be certain that all of their staff are properly trained to use all of the equipment required for each resident. When they fail to do so they put every resident in the facility at risk for nursing home falls.
If you have a loved one who has suffered multiple falls at an Illinois nursing home, and you feel that they may have been the victims of nursing home neglect, contact my law offices for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. At the law offices of Barry Doyle, we never charge a fee unless we take, and win, your case.